Composition is the most important aspect of art photography. Composition is the art of arranging the various elements of the image in the most harmonious manner that meets the creative intent of the author and allows him to fully convey his thoughts and feelings to the viewer.
The gaze of a person looking at a scene moves far from randomly. First of all, he seeks to cover the most significant elements that attract his attention, in decreasing order of their attractiveness, then he goes around the entire available field of vision, assessing the relationship between important objects, and practically without stopping on insignificant trifles, after which he returns to the semantic center. This scan takes a matter of seconds, and is repeated many times with some variations in the trajectory of the movement of the gaze as more and more information about the scene enters the brain. Your task as an artist is to take this process under your control, making the viewer’s eyes move in the image in a predictable way, following your idea, lingering on plot-significant objects in the sequence that is dictated by your vision of the scene. The look should return to the compositional center again and again, and not at all run over the edge of the frame so that the viewer and thoughts do not have to take their eyes off your photo.
Most amateur photographers do not pay due attention to the composition, and in any case, give it much less attention than choosing equipment. Weak composition leads to the fact that when looking at the picture it is difficult to understand what exactly the author wanted to show us – what is most important in the picture, and what is secondary, what the photographer placed intentionally in it, and what got into the frame due to his oversight. If I did not deign to take the trouble to think about all this while composing the shot, then how can I expect the viewer to think for me? If I myself do not know firmly what my picture is about, then how does the viewer know this? Your shots are often the only bridge between you and the viewer, allowing you to share your feelings about the scene depicted in the photograph. The photographer’s carelessness in relation to the shooting gives rise to the viewer’s carelessness in relation to the pictures. If you want attention to your work, be careful when creating it.
Good protocol shot of the ruins of Buchach castle. Not bad, but nothing more. How to make it more interesting?
Buchach castle. Strong composition.
I saw these ruins, grass and sky as a combination of intersecting colored triangles. Laconicism and abstractness made the picture expressive.
Harmony in simplicity
The key to strong composition is simplicity. Try to exclude from the frame everything that is not related to the main idea of your picture. At the same time, you can make sure: is there any idea there? Take away all that is superfluous, everything that does not improve the composition, and you will have only those elements that will allow you to convey your thoughts to the viewer. If there is nothing left, then at least you will save a little space on the memory card, which is also good.
Hare marks. Diagonal composition.
Have you seen the hare?
The viewer’s gaze should not wander around the photograph, looking for what is important and what is not. Do not leave him a choice. Bright, contrasting objects attract the eye, therefore, if they are important, place them relative to each other in the most beautiful way, if not, remove them from the frame without pity, because they will only distract attention from the main idea.
Do not think about trifles at the stage of composing the frame. If your equipment is in good condition and your hands are not trembling, the details will not go anywhere. Nobody cares about the sharpness of your picture if its composition is weak. You should simplify the frame as much as possible and achieve a harmonious, balanced arrangement of its key elements. A photograph should attract attention even from afar, even in the form of a tiny sketch. If it is not interesting in the form of an icon, no one will bother looking at it in full size. Why worry about the details? Yes, the details are important, but only when the composition is perfect.
Composing a future frame, abstract away from specific objects – at this moment it is important not for you what you are shooting, but how you portray it. Look not at objects, but at the connection, the relationship between them. Try to think with simple geometric shapes, colored spots, lines. Sharp angles, straight lines, bright colors, high contrast increase the tension of the composition. On the contrary, smooth bends, pastel colors pacify.
Abstract geometric composition
The balance of the composition is achieved by balancing the right and left parts of the image. The simplest balance option is symmetry. However, an asymmetric balance is not only possible, but also often looks much more interesting and dynamic. A balanced composition causes a feeling of peace, unbalanced – more than acceptable if you want to show movement, rebellion. Such a composition requires more skill, but it is also much more dramatic.